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Optimists Club to hold annual Sanibel Blues and Jazz Fest

By Staff | Oct 4, 2019


The Sanibel-Captiva Optimists Club will host its Sanibel Blues and Jazz Fest in November.

Pioneered in 2016, the annual fundraiser helps to raise money for the club’s charitable endeavors, including six college scholarships and summer programs at the Sanibel Recreation Center for youth.

This year’s festival will take place on Nov. 3 from noon to 7 p.m. in the backyard of the Bailey’s Center, at the corner of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road. Once again featuring award-winning musicians, the lineup will consist of a mix of returning artists and new performances, including:

– Johnny Jensen at about 1 p.m.

An island native, the Captiva talent began drumming at the age of 4. Johnny Jensen discovered the guitar several years ago and counts Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton among his musical influences. He practices his craft locally at his family’s Captiva resort and at the Fort Myers Music Walk, held monthly in the city’s historic River District. In 2017, Jensen was the opening act for the Sanibel Blues and Jazz Fest, later playing with headliners and Hall of Famers Elvin Bishop and Matt Schofield.


– Marty Stokes Band at about 2 p.m.

Returning to the Sanibel Blues and Jazz Fest, it won the International Blues Competition trip to Memphis in 2017 and is a four-time winner of the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by the Southwest Florida Blues Society. The band performs in clubs and festivals around Florida. Additionally, Stokes has produced four CDs of original blues and the latest, “Down On My Knees,” has received strong international reviews.

– Sean Chambers at about 3:30 p.m.

Sean Chambers is an American blues rock singer, guitarist and songwriter. He has released seven albums since 1998, with the most recent, “Trouble & Whiskey” (2017) and “Welcome to My Blues” (2018), appearing on the U.S. Billboard Blues Albums Chart. His main guitar playing influences are the work of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Chambers was born on the Gulf coast of Florida.

– Matt Schofield at about 5 p.m.

PHOTO PROVIDED Marty Stokes Band

A British guitar virtuoso and British Blues Hall of Famer, Matt Schofield is regarded as one of the most innovative guitarists to have emerged in generations. He holds a British passport and is an inductee of the British Blues Hall of Fame. Newspapers have described him as the best blues guitarist in decades and have rated him in the top 10 British blues guitarists of all time, with Eric Clapton and Peter Green. Back again from 2016 and 2017 by popular acclaim, Schofield is the headliner for this year’s festival.

A jam session, featuring all of the participating performers, will follow until closing.

Ticket donations are $20 for general admission and $100 for VIP.

There are a limited number of tickets, which will be available at www.eventbrite.com.

Tickets can also be picked up from Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank and George and Wendy’s Seafood Grille, as well as day of at the festival entrance if there are any leftover.


VIP admission includes reserved seating and parking, an event T-shirt, meet the bands, raw and champagne bar, food and beverages. General admission ticket-holders are reminded to bring their own seats; fine food and a range of beverages, including beer and wine, will be available for purchase.

No outside food or beverages may be brought onto the festival grounds.

Details on the parking will be announced, with Special Valet Bicycle Parking on site.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/SanibelBluesandJazzFestival or sancapoptimist.org.